Comets Shoot Past Drovers in First Round


Laura Barrios Bardi

Jessica Palmer, one of USAO’s senior players, puts up a free throw in a game earlier in the season.

Preston Palm, Contributing Writer

USAO (23-7, 17-5 SAC) entered the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship tournament as the #7 seed. The Drovers played their first-round matchup against #10 seeded Mayville State University (MSU) (24-5, 12-2 NSAA).

While the first quarter wasn’t high scoring, the Drovers did start off hot began the game with a lead, but after the first quarter the Comets took the lead with a score of 12-10.

MSU picked up right where they left off in the second quarter as they led for the entirety of the second quarter. The Comets outscored the Drovers by six points in the second quarter. USAO still managed to stay within striking distance though as they ended the half down eight points, with a score of 31-23.

The third quarter displayed a high offensive output from both squads. Brayanna Polk scored almost half of the Drovers’ third quarter points with ten of the 22 points. The Comets were efficient in the third as they only missed four shots the entire quarter, putting their shooting percentage at 69.2% for the third. Their efficient shooting in the third gave the Comets a 56-47 lead going into the fourth.

While the Drovers managed to put up another 22 points in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to claw their way back from the deficit they faced all the second half. MSU won by ten points with a score of 77-67 over USAO. MSU dominated the shooting percentages with 53.3% from the field goal range and 79.5% from the charity stripe. On the other hand, USAO shot 34.2% from the field goal range and 76.9% from the free-throw line.

Zaria Dorsey led the Drovers scorers with 22 points from nine field goals, one three-pointer, and three free throws. Dorsey was two rebounds away from recording a double-double with eight rebounds. Only two other Drovers managed to hit double digit scoring, Polk and Tonijah Fortune both put up ten points. Polk, Fortune, Jessica Palmer, and Lainey Morrow all chalked up two steals apiece. Polk also led the team with four assists.

The Drovers ended their season with a loss, but still have an impressive season to look back on. USAO’s basketball program has plenty to look forward to and to build on for next season.


Preston Palm is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.